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#1950s

Written by Bill Kemp in

BHS Student Lounge May 1948

Bloomington High School students Wanda Rust (right) and Margaret Schlemmer work on murals in the newly opened student lounge, a repurposed second floor classroom. At this time the high school was located on the 500 block of East Washington Street. The current high school opened in 1959.

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Written by Bill Kemp in

Franklin Park’s new evergreens April 1958

In the spring of 1958, the Bloomington-Normal Garden Club planted a series of evergreens at Franklin Park, the city’s oldest green space. Seen here is Joyce Lynn Hall, an Illinois Wesleyan University student, admiring three Pfitzer junipers and a vertical yew recently set in the concrete planter at the park’s center.

Note the city bus heading west on Walnut Street in the background.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Easter Lily Sales March 1958

Here’s a group of Y-Teens from the Bloomington YWCA, March 29, 1958, selling Easter lilies in the State Farm Insurance Co. headquarters downtown. The girls are not identified, but that’s Gladys Martin (left) and Betty Moore in the back.


The girls were raising money for the local chapter of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington High Aegis staff October 1954

Several weeks ago we ran a photograph from a set of 1954 negatives showing the staff of Aegis, the BHS student newspaper. Here’s another one.

Gathered around the desk of Aegis editor Su Selders (that’s Sue without the “e”) are Pat Jones, assistant editor; Don Owen, business manager; and Ann Alcott, reporter.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Titans Thump Redbirds February 1953

On February 11, 1953, Illinois Wesleyan beat visiting Illinois State Normal 98-66 at the old Memorial Hall gymnasium (now IWU’s Hansen Student Center).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington High Swim Team February 1953

Five BHS swimmers prepare for the Big 12 Conference meet in Peoria in this mid-February 1953 scene. Left to right: Peter Whitmer, Hal Johnstone, Ray Baxter, Chuck Dunbar, and Adlai Rust, Jr.

Five BHS swimmers prepare for the Big 12 Conference meet in Peoria in this mid-February 1953 scene. Left to right: Peter Whitmer, Hal Johnstone, Ray Baxter, Chuck Dunbar, and Adlai Rust, Jr.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

March of Dimes Coffee Day January 1953

On Friday, Jan. 30, 1953, local restaurants donated proceeds from their coffee sales to the March of Dimes and the campaign to combat infantile paralysis, commonly known as polio. Here is waitress Pauline McGath pouring coffee for truck drivers (left to right) Mack Rutledge, Gene Dreelan, and “Slick” Evans.

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Written by Torii Moré in Historic Photos

John Pratt, February 1953 Valentine’s Day Groom

John Pratt, who in a few days time would marry Geraldine Dillon in a Valentine’s Day ceremony, is seen here in a downtown Bloomington store sampling scents for his bride-to-be.

John Pratt, who in a few days time would marry Geraldine Dillon in a Valentine’s Day ceremony, is seen here in a downtown Bloomington store sampling scents for his bride-to-be.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Freitag children, rural Stanford February 1959

​Jane and Doug Freitag horse around with a canine friend at their family farm standing on top of a cob pile.

Jane and Doug Freitag horse around with a canine friend at their family farm outside of Stanford in Allin Township.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Lea Kallish Fashionable Hats, 1959

On February 8, 1959, The Pantagraph featured photographs of local women wearing the latest in fashionable hats.

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